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Renowned Physicist Huang Kun Dies at 86

At the age of 86, Huang Kun, one of the pioneers of modern Chinese physics, passed away in Beijing on Wednesday.

His death is a big loss to China's physics society, an announcement of condolence from a committee of top Chinese scientists said.

Born in Beijing in 1919, Huang graduated from the Beijing-based Yenching University as a promising physicist. In 1948, he received a PhD degree from Bristol University in the United Kingdom and continued his postdoctoral studies at Liverpool University between 1949 and 1951.

In 1951, Huang opted to return to New China to teach, and became a professor of physics at Peking University. In 1955, he became one of the first batch of academics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

After his retirement in 1983, Huang remained active in the research of semiconductors and was selected as the chairman of the Chinese Society of Physics between 1987 and 1991.

Huang made many founding contributions to the field of solid-state physics. His Dynamic Theory of Crystal Lattices, which was a result of his collaboration with Nobel laureate British physicist Max Born, has become a classic work of modern physics, according to the announcement of the condolence committee.

Huang was the first physicist to predict diffuse X-ray scattering due to crystal defects. The prediction was later proved in laboratory experiments in the 1960s. In 2002, Huang received the 5-million-yuan (US$602,000) National Supreme Scientific and Technological Award, the nation's highest award for achievement in the field of science.

(China Daily July 8, 2005)

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